2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 15

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the information along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know (we will also be using Fink’s Rule to classify a concussion/head injury).

After last week and the NFL reporting only six concussions this week picked right back up to previous levels.  We have unearthed 14 concussion for Week 15; showing that last week was definitely an outlier.  Since Week 11 the number of concussions per week were as follows: 16, 19, 15, 6, and 14.  As my two-year old’s favorite TV show says “one of these things are not like the others”.

Our data collection, the most comprehensive since 2010, has shown that more than 50% of ALL concussions in the NFL occur after week number 9, or the back half of the season.  As of this week we have surpassed the Week 1-9 total of 80; there have been 82 since Week 10.  Of course the pundits will tell you that all the byes have taken place, so more teams means more concussions; true.  However, as the season wears on and the accumulation of hits to the head compile, the theory of cumulative subconcussive blows eventually creates concussive episodes may also be a culprit of our bigger numbers in the second half.

Going forward into the last two weeks – wait one week (I will get that in a second) it will be interesting to see if the trend continues or if there will be another “outlier”.  About that “one” week thing I just mentioned; sure there is two games left but because 67.5% of the league is done after Week 17 concussion reporting is horrible.  As was explained last week, teams will not – do not – report concussions if they are not playing a game in the 1st round of the playoffs.  It takes work from the media and other information gathering entities (looking at you @nflconcussions) to ferret out concussions during the last week of play.  In 2010 only one concussion (of the six) was found in Week 17 that was not a playoff team and last year we found five (of the 10) that were not playoff bound.  Possibly meaning that the Week 17 number is 67.5% less than to be expected (OK that may be a leap but it is truly hard to find concussions).

With the 14 concussions found last week that brings the regular season total to 162 and the overall found concussion total since camp opened to 210.  The overall total is about 15 higher than last year at this time.  Here are the updated stats for the regular season (last weeks numbers);

  • 162 Concussions/head injuries (148)
  • 10.80 Concussions/week (10.57)
  • 184 Projected Concussions (180)
  • 0.72 Concussions/game (0.70)
  • 12.75% InR (12.48)
  • 10.83% EInR (10.60)
  • 91 Offensive (81) – 71 Defense (67)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 7 (7), RB – 18 (16), TE – 18 (15), WR – 29 (28), OL – 19 (15), DL – 14 (13), LB – 17 (15), DB – 40 (39)
  • Team Breakdown
    • OAK – 13
    • CLE – 9
    • DET, JAX, KC, WAS – 8
    • DAL, IND – 7
    • GB, MIN, NE, NYJ, PIT, SF, STL, TB, TEN – 5
    • ARI, BAL, CAR, CHI, CIN, NYG, PHI, SEA – 4
    • BUF, DEN, MIA, NO – 3
    • HOU, SD – 2
    • ATL – 1
    • NONE – 0

Our definition of Incidence Rate (InR) is projected concussions/45 players taking the field per team per game, our definition of Epidemiological Incidence Rate (EInR) is projected concussions/53 man roster per team.

Comparing to past seasons the following has been found after Week 15: # (2011, 2010):

  • Regular Season Concussions – 162 (150, 138 )

8 thoughts on “2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 15

  1. The ongoing accumulation of subconcussive blows without adequate rest over the length of the season appears to be a viable hypothesis for the increase in concussions during the latter portion of the season.

    As the boxer exclaimed …

    ” Maybe I shoulda been knocked out in the 1st round rather than go 14 rounds and get KO’d !!!!t … then I wouldn’t have had my head / brain bashed so many times

  2. A Concerned Mom December 22, 2012 / 08:00

    “as the season wears on and the accumulation of hits to the head compile, the theory of cumulative subconcussive blows eventually creates concussive episodes”

    If this theory is accurate, what possible impact could it have for multisport athletes at lower levels of play? It’s not unusual to see kids/teens go from football to wrestling or basketball (with club leagues at lower levels/pre-MS/HS).

    • Dustin Fink December 22, 2012 / 10:23

      With adequate rest time I would think all things are normal, as we view them today.

      At our school I constantly talk to, encourage, and sometimes demand that certain athletes get rest, not only for head injuries but for orthopedic injuries…

      • A Concerned Mom December 22, 2012 / 10:53

        Do you think there is adequate rest time between seasons? Obviously, if there’s an actual concussion, the athlete will be pulled, but what about if someone has just taken a lot of hard hits during the season (with no recognizable concussion symptoms)?

  3. joe bloggs December 23, 2012 / 06:33

    Concerned Mom,

    We don’t know. We don’t know how many hits and type of hits one can take at what age and with what rest period would result in a lessening of risk. Gender will play into it, physical development, conditioning, genetics, equipment, coaching and other factors. Given the numerous factors that play into the equation, it will be very difficult to identify what caused one subject to have short- and/or long-term issues while others did not. At this point, it is art and not science. This is why it is so important to have knowledgeable medical staff overseeing the process especially ATs.

    Research was off to a good start more than 20 years ago with people like Jordan, Hovda, Barth, Cantu, Broshek (granted a decade ago in female athletes), Then, the NFL created its concussion committee things began a process of going sideways as the lawyers got involved and hijacked the process.

    Almost no pediatric research has been conducted, research on female athletes is virtually non-existent, and research on D-1 and professional athletes is of exceptionally poor quality. The NFL, NCAA, and various other organizations are more interested in developing legal strategies then getting answers because these entities fear that they could go bankrupt and those running them would lose their jobs. Serious impartial researchers were bypassed for scientists who were and are ethically flexible. Benefits have accrued to those willing to conflate issues while honest scientists move to new areas of investigation as this area is a waste of time.

    Science could address many of these issues but it has a back seat to lawyers and loud, vocal and uninformed opinions. In the meantime, expect more research using hit counts, helmet telemetry and various other questionable proejcts that will continue to appear to address the issues rather than actually focusing on the problems. Be mindful the lawyers will attempt to support research to blame poor outcomes on the players and parents instead of identifying either the causes or potential interventions.

    • A Concerned Mom December 24, 2012 / 13:55

      Thanks – I truly worry that some kids/teens may be at greater risk of injury and long term problems depending on the programs they participate in along with individual characteristics (how much time is spent on contact in practice, is good technique taught, are ATCs available, is the athlete a hard hitter, aggressive, multisport athlete ….).

  4. I concur with Joe re the lack of ample conflict of interest free concussion data / research re mistakely called “MILD” brain injuries.

    Furthermore, the advancement of valid and reliable concussion knowledge has also been significantly hindered by apparent legal manuvering behaviors of various organizations and indiviiduals.

    From my perspective…there is much we DO NOT comprehend re mild brain injuries / concussions.
    And I think this uncertainty should be spot-lighted more frequently in various discussions. Just as there are theories of personality…there exists various THEORIES of concussions.

    Sadly, it appears that many present core decisions re concussions are being made without an adequate basis or knowledge. Finally, core issues raised in my 2004 Sport-Related Concussion Dissertation are essentially the same 8 years later.

  5. George Visger December 28, 2012 / 10:56

    The long term effects of concussive and sub concussive hits can be seen in what it’s done to my family in the following KVIE Channel 6 Sacramento link.

    KVIE Channel 6 Sidelined: Concussions In Sports 121912-

    George Visger
    SF 49ers 80 & 81
    Survivor of 9 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

    The Visger Group
    Wildlife Biologist/TBI Consultant

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